Ok. So, the Eagles just beat the Colts 33-23 in Indianapolis to move to 3-0 so far this preseason. Just like last year, reigning preseason MVP Sam Bradford had an excellent third game, turning in a performance that resonated with fans all over the city. He went 17-20 for 167 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 114. He played the entirety of the first half and recorded this touchdown on a fade route to new Eagle Dorial Green-Beckham with just over four minutes to go in the second quarter. Green-Beckham looked like a real red zone threat, albeit at times a confused one. I am extremely interested to see the likes of Greg Lewis and Jordan Matthews push Dorial Green-Beckham to see if he can perhaps develop into an all around elite weapon. DGB’s body, relatively uncultivated skill set, and freakish athleticism would certainly allow for that level of ascendancy. Josh Huff recorded sixty yards receiving on just two receptions. He had a long of 38 yards in which he violently shook a Colts defender on a play drawn to manufacture a possession for the third year wideout. Huff appears to have cultivated some chemistry with Bradford. He also had two rushing attempts for ten yards and a touchdown on an end around in the red zone. I could picture Huff in a Tavon Austin role, or perhaps more accurately, in a De’Anthony Thomas role under Doug Pederson. Though Huff was thought of as a bubble player prior to this game by most in the media, it looks as though he has solidified his role as the 4th or 5th WR on the depth chart, essentially ensuring that he will not be cut in favor of Randle, Turner, Johnson, or Jones.
Sammy B looked sharp again, but the Colts defense is less than stellar and that was clear. The Colts’ defense allowed the 7th most yards in the league last year with 6,066. The Eagles D? They allowed 6,426 yards which qualified for the third most league-wide. I’m not sure if it is the scheme change from a 3-4 to a 4-3, the intense presence that Jim Schwartz seems to assert on the sideline and in his play calls, or perhaps some combination of both, but the Eagles’ D has looked imposing. Between defensive stalwarts Cox, Logan, and Allen on the inside, the three headed monster of Curry, Graham, and Barwin rushing the passer, and the athletic linebacking core of Hicks, Kendricks, Bradham, and Tulloch, the Eagles’ front seven has looked formidable and deep. So formidable, in fact, that it wouldn’t be a stretch to call the front seven the clear strength of this team going forward. This group consistently produced pressure without blitzing, and continuously worked the Colts’ O-Line with their depth, ultimately leading to three first half sacks. The safety tandem of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod combined for eight tackles and led the shaky defensive backfield to a respectable night. Rookie C.J Smith played with the first team and produced seven solo tackles. Jordan Hicks looked calm and controlled, and Nolan Carroll came down with an interception in the end zone. After Cody Parkey (and Adam Vinatieri for what it’s worth) shanked an extra point, it looks clear that Caleb Sturgis is in the driver’s seat when it comes to the intriguing kicking competition. Save for a horrid performance by Sturgis next week, Pederson and Fipp may very well have to move on without their young, Pro Bowl caliber kicker Cody Parkey. In my opinion, the unexpected competition between the two young kickers has shaped up to be one of the more interesting decisions that Roseman will have to make before week one.
Carson Wentz looked good during practice this week, and looked flawless while warming up before last night’s game. We’re all hoping that we get to see Wentz perform – hopefully behind an improved offensive line – on Thursday.